Dota 2 and Heroes of Newerth have a lot in common and if Valve listens to fan requests, their similarities may even include heroes.
Heroes of Newerth is the spiritual Dota 1.5. A gap-closer between the Warcraft III mod and Valve’s official sequel. Many older Dota 2 fans have fond memories of the game. In fact, many pro players including two-time TI champion captain Johan “N0tail” Sundstein trace their competitive roots to HoN. Now that the game is officially shut down, Dota 2 can pay respect to its predecessor by adopting some of its most unique heroes.
The discussion for porting Heroes of Newerth characters in Dota 2 is an old one, but the conversation has sparked up again due the official closure of the older MOBA. Heroes of Newerth servers are now permanently down, and players haven’t been able to make new accounts since 2021. There is now no official way to play the game, but longtime MOBA fans hope for a small piece of HoN to appear in a newer title.
But just how likely is it for Heroes of Newerth characters to get ported into Dota 2? Based on files hidden deep within the game, it’s very possible that Valve is considering it. In the hero files for Dota 2, there are two unused folders labeled Puppet Master and Zephyrus. Both of those names directly reference characters from Heroes of Newerth. It’s no guarantee, but it’s a very strong hint.
It’s ultimately up to Valve to decide if porting some of the heroes of Newerth is worth the effort. The fanbase for the game all but abandoned it once Dota 2 became available and the fact that it shut down means that the game’s roster wasn’t able to keep it alive.
Then again, HoN developer S2 Games probably wouldn’t mind getting paid a licensing fee for heroes in a dead game. It could even tie into the Great Confluence storyline building up in the lore, where multiple realities get mixed together into one.
The best Heroes of Newerth heroes to bring to Dota 2
Heroes of Newerth has a ton of amazing characters, but these three stand out as potentially great additions to the Dota 2 roster. With so many analogs and equivalents between the two games, it’s best to look at the more unique designs unlike anything in Dota 2.
While most Dota 2 carries rely on point-target spells and consistent physical damage, Silhouette would be a massive exception. The ranged ninja has multiple skillshots and a tricky ultimate similar to Tempest Double. Tree Grapple is also an interesting mobility tool similar to Timber Chain, but she can deal damage along the line or even pull the tree as a surprise attack.
Nomad is another core that would do wonders in the current skirmish-based meta. The desert warrior uses brief bursts of invisibility to pop in and out of fights similar to Slark. However, Nomad differentiates himself with his unique Wanderer passive, which stores a crit that grows more powerful the further Nomad moves. He also has a dose of Phantom Lancer with controllable illusions that rush at foes.
As for adding a Heroes of Newerth support to Dota 2, Riftwalker would move crucial team fight abilities to a selfless role. Cascade Event works like a delayed Vacuum while Rift Burn damages enemies over time in an AOE. In combination with big Dota 2 ultimates like Reverse Polarity or Black Hole, Riftwalker could become a team fighting support that can help other heroes shine.